President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime has signed a deal that will ensure Russia’s supply of lethal weapons to Nigeria.
Specifically, the deal is a military-technical cooperation agreement with the Russian government, said the Nigerian embassy in Russia.
“The agreement on military-technical cooperation between both countries provides a legal framework for the supply of military equipment, provision of after-sales services,” the statement quoted Mr Putin to have said. “The signing of the Military-Technical Cooperation Agreement is a landmark development in the bilateral relations between Nigeria and the Russian Federation.”
While declaring open the ‘seventh international military-technical forum – Army 2021’, President Vladimir Putin disclosed that contracts for the supply of the military equipment had been concluded.
“Massive mutually beneficial portfolios of contracts for the supply of Russian military goods are concluded on the forum‘s sidelines every year,” explained Mr Putin. “The forum has on display over 28,000 units of modern military arms and equipment ranging from small firearms to artillery, tanks, and military combat aircraft.”
The agreement, which provides a legal framework for the supply and servicing of military equipment, training of personnel, and technology transfer, was signed in Russia on Monday, the statement said.
Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, who led a delegation of top military officials to Russia, signed on behalf of Mr Buhari’s regime.
The Nigerian ambassador to Russia, Abdullahi Shehu, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Auwal Gambo, and the army and air force representatives formed the Nigerian delegation at the signing ceremony.
The new agreement marks the termination of the 20-year similar agreement entered into by both countries on March 6, 2001. In 2017 and 2019, the Russian government signed military cooperation and trade agreements with Nigeria.
The 2017 agreement, which allowed Nigerian servicemen to be trained in Russia’s military educational establishments, included the exchange of peacekeeping experience in fighting piracy and terrorism.
In the 2019 agreement, the cooperation extended from military collaboration to oil and gas and rail development and trade.
The agreement, signed by Mr Buhari signed on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit, also sought a nuclear power plant in Nigeria.